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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  August 11, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EDT

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>> stephanie miller, thank you. dana, lash, thank you. tonight you've heard the arguments about illegal immigrants having kids here but have you heard what some lawmakers are claiming, having babies and then raising them to be terrorists overseas so 20 years they can come back here and attack us? two lawmakers lay out the conspiracy theory. where is the proof? we're keeping them honest. a primary showdown. crucial results across the country, including connecticut. believed to be in the lead, wanting a shot at the senator's belt, what that may tell us in the long-term. >> and the latest on the jetblue flight attendant that has had enough. he's being called a folk hero.
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one of the passengers saw and heard it all. we begin by keeping it honest. one of the battles of illegal immigration. texas lawmakers are claiming that illegal immigrants are having babies here so they can return to their homes, raise the babies as terrorists, and then 20 years from now send them back to attack us. you'll hear from the lawmakers in a moment. first, how he got to this strange place. it all began when republicans began suggesting that the 14th amendment automatically grants citizenship to babies in the u.s. should be changed. here's what senator lindsay graham said. >> we should change our constitution and say, if you come here illegal and have a child, that child is not a citizen. they come here to drop a child that is called drop and leave. to have a child in america, they cross the border, go to the emergency room, that child is not medically an american citizen, that should not be the case. >> the question is, how many illegal immigrants actually come
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here pregnant or with the intention of getting pregnant? an independent fact organize concluded that date da does not support senator graham's claims. 40% of illegal immigrant households are couples with kids. in texas alone, according to the dallas morning news, an estimated 60,000 kids are born each year to noncitizen parents. but most of these people appear to be here for work and hope to remain here. so who is, in the words of senator graham, dropping and leaving? well, it turns out people who come here on tourist visas. wealthy couples in places like india, pakistan, china. some want their kids to be able to get a u.s. passport. the washington post recently reported on a shanghai company that sells packages to california for pregnant women.
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the cost is $17,000. now, you can argue that this is a problem and you can make certainly the case that 3.8 million children are illegal immigrants and burden on all of us. however, the argument that so far no one has really offered any proof about is the one put forward first by louie gomert of texas. he said that some women are coming here to basically have terror babies. >> i talked to a retired fbi agent that said one of the things they were looking at were terrorist cells overseas who had figured out how to game our system and it appeared they would have young women who became pregnant and would get them into the united states to have a baby and they wouldn't even have to pay anything for the baby. and then they would return back
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where they could be raised and coddled as future terrorists. and then one day, 20, 30 years down the road they could be sent in to help destroy our way of life because they figured out how stupid we are being in this country. >> that was congressman gohmert on the house floor saying that an fbi agent told him this. no evidence or actual proof offered. instead of an ex fbi agent tipping him off, it was a terrorist grandmother. >> it came to my attention last august, a lady was telling someone on our plane that they were about to have their second grabbed daughter. her husband was the hamas and that they were going to do with the second as they did with the first grandchild. the daughter is going to come to america right before it is born
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on a tourist visa and having the baby bee. they like to have the option of having an american citizen in the country. hamas we recognize as terrorists. also she added as a real kicker, and you know what the best part of it is, we don't have to pay anything for the baby to be born. >> well, keeping them honest, we tried to reach representative gohmert and we got no answer in his washington office or anyone in his district. we welcome any clarification. we also reached out to the theory, louie gohmert is not the only republican lawmaker that believes this. representative riddle, you told my producer that pregnant womens are coming here as tourists and having babies and going back home with the purpose of turning
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them into little terrorists, will then come back to the u.s. and do us harm and could cost us lives. where did you hear that? >> that is information that is coming to my office from former fbi officials. >> what form of fbi officials in i mean, what evidence is there of some sort of long-term plot to have american babies born here and then become -- raised as terrorists overseas and then come back here? >> well, at this point i don't have the hard evidence right here in front of me. however, this is something that is being talked about by various members of congress. this is being looked into. this is an issue with not only folks coming across our southern border, with what is called anchor babies, and coming over for the entitlement programs and for that sort of thing. but i think this is a lot more
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sinister issue. all of these issues we need to look at because it's a critical, critical issue for all of the american public. >> but you have no actual evidence? >> other than that, coming from former fbi folks. >> can you tell us who these former fbi folks are, what evidence they have or what evidence they have shown you? >> at this point i'm not going to reveal that. >> i mean, if this is a real threat to the security of the united states, why wouldn't the fbi people be worried about it as well? >> you know, that's a really good question because right now we have serious current threat that the government seems to be ignoring and ignoring on our southern border. quite honestly -- >> they haven't told you any actual evidence, right? you say some former fbi agents have talked to your office. have they given your office actual facts or proof?
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>> that information we are still gathering. but the point that i think you are trying to make is about folks coming over here, having their babies when they are not here legally or they might have overstayed their visa, whether they are coming from south of the border or middle eastern countries, we must protect and make sure that the safety and security of the people of texas and the folks of this country is secure. that's the number one job of every elected official. and quite frankly it is altogether possible to make a dirty bomb, stick it in a suitcase, walk it across our southern border and take it to downtown houston or any other city and blow it up and kill a million or more folks. yet why isn't the government taking that seriously? so you're questioning me on details of this and that's a fair question and we can deal
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with that now or at a later time but that issue, dirty bombs that can be walked across our forest border that our president refuses to protect and secure could endanger people today. >> border security is certainly an issue and it's a good topic. it's not the topic, though -- you've made statements about these basically terror babies to be brought back here. you say you're still gathering from unnamed former fbi people. >> well, actually, when your folks call me in the preliminary, that was part of the conversation. they did not tell me that you were going to grill me for this specific information that i was not ready to give to you tonight. they did not tell me that, sir. >> okay. if you do have follow-up information, we'd love to get it. and we'll continue to follow up with her office.
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more of the conversation ahead, including the democratic representative rafael for his response. what do you think? join us at a study that surprised a lot of parents but what happens after parents learn that their kids, young kids, already can see kids and make judgments about which skin colors their eyes better. we're going to show you how parents are acting on what they learned about their kids. and his tarmac meltdown landed him in jail, probably cost him his job, and tonight he's out of jail. the pressure that was growing in his life and what happened on that plane. we'll talk to a passenger on the flight. built with quality and backed with the best coverage in america including a 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. that's 40,000 more miles than ford.
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we're talking about so-called anchor babies and the allegation that terrorists are sending women to this country to have babies and become american citizens and go back and 20 years later come back here to blow things up. we were talking to debbie riddle and her democratic counterpart was also there. she laid out her case at length and now let's hear what the democrat had to say about the whole conspiracy theories. >> representative, there are certainly wealthy women coming to the u.s. from other countries
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to have babies. this is known. whether they are coming here in some cases for better health care may be true but also some are clearly coming here to have babies who are u.s. citizens. are you concerned about this as a national security issue? do you believe they are having future terrorist babies? >> well, let's deal with the myth of anchor babies. and that is, immigrants are coming here for the sole purpose of having babies and then somehow will be involved in an a plot to harm americans. for that to rise to some sort of national security concern is really unsubstantiated. the 9/11 bombers were all here illegally, the times square incident, he was not an anchor baby. >> anderson, i'm going to have to interrupt you. >> he didn't interrupt you. let him finish and then i'll let you respond. >> thank you, anderson.
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the broader issue is, you know, why are we having a discussion about anchor babies. if a person has a child here, that child cannot petition for their parents or a sibling to be here in the united states for a period of ten years and that petition can only begin after they are 21 years old. so the -- for people to suggest that people are coming here and having babies as a way to anchor themselves on an undocumented basis in this country is just not correct. the law doesn't bear that out. just because you have a child here doesn't mean thaw can't be deported tomorrow. it doesn't mean that you get any special preference with regard to your immigration status. the fact is that a child, who is born here, cannot petition on behalf of their parents unless they've left the country for ten years. >> representative riddle -- >> in that case -- >> what about that? in texas, about 60,000 babies are born every year to illegal immigrants, according to some research.
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seems like studies that i've seen, the majority are just people working and having babies. do you have a number of how many actually you think are coming here in texas specifically to have babies? >> i'm going to have to take an exception to what my colleague representative had to say. the myth of an anchor baby. there's no myth to it. the fact is, it's documented. it's common knowledge here in texas. >> do you have a number? >> it's common knowledge that over 81% of the babies that are born at lbj hospital right here in houston are born of women who are not here legally. it is well known that women come over here across the border in order to have the babies here. because once they get here and once that little american citizen is born and becomes an anchor baby. look, i'm a grandmother of ten.
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i love children. but the fact is, this is breaking the back of the taxpayers of texas and the united states. >> okay. >> it's taking down our health care, our education, and it is a huge, huge burden. >> representative -- >> that are coming across to have the children for the entitlement programs, for the health and the education and everything else that goes with it. >> representative riddle -- >> anybody that denies that isn't telling the truth. >> out of the 60,000 estimated children born every year in texas, in your state to illegal immigrants, how many are actually here for that purpose and how many just are -- their parents are here working and they have a baby or they've come because they want better health care in order to have the baby? >> if they were over here illegally, they are not here legally. if they are over here illegally, working or not, and they have a baby, then that would come under
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the term anchor baby. that he is what we're taking about. that is breaking the back of the taxpayers. >> representative? >> yeah. thank you, anderson. the reality is that an anchor baby, according to the terms that the representative riddle would use is a baby that a mother has here in the united states, if they are undocumented, in order to somehow anchor that undocumented family in the state. and current federal law does not permit that. it just does not happen under u.s. law. >> you're not denying the point that some people do come here because they want their child to be a u.s. citizen. >> undoubtedly that happens. but i do not think it happens in broad enough numbers and big enough numbers to change the constitution of the united states of america. >> representative riddle, let me ask you about that. how much of this is just about politics, about wanting to be seen to be doing something? the attorney general of texas, a
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republican, advised the legislature back in 2007 that immigration is largely the per vie of the federal government and that basically as a result, immigration bills in texas were left a dying committee, the chairman also said that the state would be tied up defending against lawsuits that they probably wouldn't win. >> quite honestly, it has now gotten to the point of border security. this is about security. our border has got to get secure. the people are no longer asking to secure the border. they are demanding it. the emperor has no clothes and i'm afraid the emperor who has no clothes is not listening. the people of texas are demanding that our border be secure. that is the bottom line. >> immigration officers are permitted to turn away pregnant women at the border if they suspect them of coming here just to have a baby. do you think that is enough or would you support a blanket ban
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on pregnant tourists coming to the united states? >> no. i think that what we need to do is basically what every other country does. there is not another country in the world where anyone else can go and be there illegally and we need to secure the border. >> that's actually not true. >> so that we cannot -- >> that's totally not true. >> we need to secure the border so that we know who is coming across. that those -- so that they can have a work visa. >> representative, we've got to get your comment and then go. >> what representatives are trying to do is less than honorable purposes about getting votes in november. and i think the short-term wedge is going to bite them in the behind in the end. >> and i think opening the borders and letting them through as he is suggesting is political on his part.
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>> thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> the live chat subpoena and running. linda mcmahon is giving a victory speech. we'll bring her comments live. also facing ethics charges, charlie rangel takes the floor. >> hey, if i was you, i may want you to go away, too. i am not going away. i am here. and i do recognize that --
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i've said since the day we started this campaign that the support of the voters of connecticut isn't be stoeed by the establishment or the pundits or the media. it isn't a birth right. it can't be bought. it needs to be earned. and tonight i'm humble to have earned your support. i am -- -- and i am honored to be your republican nominee for the united states senate from connecticut. >> spent some $22 million of her own money on this. listening to linda mcmahon,
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projected winner of the primary. one of four key primary battles unfolding right now. we're closely watching them as the outcome could say a lot about the country. polls are closed. in the connecticut gop primary, tonight they project that linda mcmahon is the winner. joining me now is david gergen and alex. alex, what about this race? linda mcmahon from world wrestling entertainment, what does it tell you? >> money can buy your love and i think voters in connecticut feel that the authenticity and sincerity gets you ready for politics. she was attacked for why she's part of a business that's as popular as nascar with the american middle class and it turns out that's a good thing,
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not a bad thing this year. you're an outsider if you're not part of a washington. she's favored. she has a shot. >> paul, do you think she has a shot? >> she does have a shot. a fool and her money can go far this year apparently in an election. but the problem that she's got, of course, is dick has the problem, alex is right. he's been largely a politician. attorney general of the state. a pretty popular one at that. but she's got her record in business. wwe is, gratuitous violence and explicitly sexual. there's a bad side, too. i think it's going to put -- blumenthal has a history of going after drug companies. he's going to be popular in an outsider campaign attacking this woman. where did she get $22 million to run the campaign ad? >> david, let's look at
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colorado. it was clinton versus obama and each person backing a different candidate. are you surprised that it's been this close? >> i was surprised that it was as close as it was in the poll but i think we have a pretty clear winner, don't we? that's what is being projected elsewhere, is michael bennett. i thought tonight was a night that insiders were being challenged but they did pretty well. michael bennett was certainly the insider in colorado and in connecticut. i agree that linda mcmahon has a shot. she's feisty and may pull it off. but right now dick blumenthal certainly has the edge. he's holding his lead and he'ss more of the insider in the race on the republican side for governor. so tonight looks like to me contrary to what we've seen, the insiders are doing pretty well. >> alex, how do you see the tea party doing in all of these races? >> well, in nevada there's a problem for republicans.
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harry reid was to be for sure and then now because of the tea party candidates -- >> sharon angle? >> sharon angle. however, rand paul in kentucky seems to be holding up his lead and most importantly the same intensity that the tea party is embracing across the country. right now if you look at in swing states obama voters from last time, only 64% of them say that they are going to vote for sure. when you look at mccain voters in those swing states, over 80% say that they are going to vote for sure.
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>> it's still too close to call but how much of a difference do you think sarah palin made in this race? >> i think she made an enormous difference. i'd like to tease her. she should be congratulated. i don't think she'd be in a neck-and-neck race if it hadn't been for governor palin. mitt romney also weighed in on the hand dels side so he had his stars. what is odd about that race to me is the energy from the tea party movement. it's much more secular and focused on spending. it focused pretty bitterly on issues. abortion and gay rights. i don't think that's helpful to the republicans. if the energy is coming from the secular right, georgia we're back to the fellow ralph read. >> the smartest thing that i
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think has happened, sarah palin going around to republican women saying you could be the first generation of mom who is leave their children and she could be a very powerful force in november and beyond. if she veers off into the social issues like in georgia, it's going to be counterproductive. >> david, what do you see her role as? >> i think it's been important. alex is right about that. she's endorsed some six candidates in the primaries for governor. four of them have won. she's had a pretty good track record. certainly in south carolina, she was an important force there. she's not winning everywhere but i do think that i think her voices going to be very important for whoever does run the republican nomination.
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>> shu can sit on one that maybe david is right. much more powerful to have your hand in a lot of baskets. >> and much more lucrative? >> yeah. >> no doubt about that. >> alex, appreciate it. david gergen, thank you very much. we're learning new details about the plane crash that took the life of ted stevens. joe? >> anderson, stevens was one of at least five people killed when the private plane went down in southern alaska late last night. there were nine people aboard the small plane when it crashed near dillingham. four people survived, including sean o'keefe, the former head of nasa. stevens is being remembered in his home state and in washington, d.c., as a world war ii veteran and a fierce champion for alaska. he was 86 years old. four u.s. senators want to know why the libby yan terrorist who is bombed the pan am flight in 1983 was released from
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prison. they are asking for the medical records to be released for the lockerbie suspect. officials in scotland say the doctors who assessed his condition had no part in the decision to release him. and in china, what some are calling a miracle. a man was rescued from the rubble of a landslide that killed more than 700 people. the survivor was trapped for nearly three days. crews continue to search for other signs of life more than 1,000 people still missing. pictures reminiscent of haiti just a few months ago. >> certainly so, joe. up ahead, what kids say about race and what they think about skin color. also, what our pilot study found and how it's inspired some families to actually change the way they talk to very little kids about race. and later, the story that everyone is talking about. the jetblue flight attendant that is out of jail tonight.
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and get a second one free. like the bold. only at verizon. following up on a report that we brought you a few months ago, racial bias in very young kids. lots of parents will say, my child doesn't see race. that certainly sounds good but is it really true? take a look at the images behind me. which of these is the dumb child? which of these is the ugly child? which of these is the smart child? now, i know the questions are unfair and unfom court table and you probably say, look, i can't answer that kwechlt the images are all identical other than the skin color. what is interesting if you show these pictures to young kids and you ask them those questions, they answer.
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>> show me the dumb child. >> dumb child. >> okay. why is she the dumb child? >> because she has black skin. >> show me the ugly child. >> why is he the ugly child? >> because he's dark. >> those kids were part of a pilot study about a team of researchers that tested over 130 kids, african-american, white, half in the north and half in the south. the kids that were white responded with a whole what researchers called white bias. that's not all. we also found that african-american kids have a bias towards white, though less so than black. >> why is she the good looking child? >> because she is light skinned. >> show me the dumb child. >> why is she the dumb child?
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>> because she's darker. >> the idea behind the pilot study was to see how far we've come since the tests conducted in 1940s studied by two psychologists. their pioneering research revealed the effects of school segregation. african-american children clearly choose white over black. what is amazing is what has happened since the researchers completed the testing. we sat down with the parents as they watched their kids on videotape and it was upsetting for many parents, whose young son showed a high bias. she needed to do more to talk to him about race and color. we caught up with laura recently to find out, what if anything,
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has changed for them. here's a closer look. >> nice to meet you. >> this is how we first met 5-year-old andrew. >> show me the dumb child. >> why is he the dumb child? >> because he's really black. >> show me the nice child. why is he the nice child? >> because he's the lightest. >> show me the bad child. why is he the bad child? >> because he's really dark. >> okay. show me the ugly child. why is he the ugly child? >> because he's dark. >> show me the good looking child. why is he the good looking child? >> because he's the lightest. >> andrew overwhelmingly identified his own skin with positive attributes. a high rate of what researcherses call white bias his mother laura was shocked when we showed her his answers.
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>> i saw you shaking your head. >> it's disappointing. i should be disappointed. i mean, it makes me think i need to be doing a better job at home. i need to teach him, you know -- it's really upsetting. i've spent 15 years as a teacher trying to teach first graders about all different societies and cultures and races and then here's my own child. his finger went so quick to the white side. it's fascinating. so i just -- we have to -- i want to do more, talk about it more openly, definitely. >> you want me to spin you around? >> we met up with laura and andrew today. she said seeing her son's answers was a wake-up call and realizes that her ideas on race are already being formed. >> they create them so young and to me it was eye opening. it was wow, if he's not talking about it, it's already going on in his head. >> like an estimated 75% of
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white families, laura never got specific about race. the doll test changed that. >> i never said, black people are bad but i've never said black skin is okay, black skin is great. i've always said it's okay to be different but i just need to be more open and upfront about it and attack it head on. >> attacking it head on for laura means in instead of glossing over differences, she finds ways to celebrate them with both andrew and eleanor. >> what color is her skin eleanor? >> black. >> is it okay to be black? >> yes. >> it's beautiful. >> her daughter is already showing signs that worry her. >> just as simple as pointing it out is a good start for sure.
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>> here it comes. >> a tough thing to go through and her involvement in the doll test started conversationseslies and friends. >> it will be uncomfortable for people but that's where the real learning takes place. >> i could even be president. do you want to be president eleanor? >> yeah. >> one conversation at a time. well, tomorrow we'll revisit another family that is making changes in the way they talk about race. i talked to a 5-year-old after she took her doll test. here's what she told me about dark skin. >> i just don't like the way brown looks because the way brown looks is really nasty for some reason but i don't know what reason. that's all. >> her answers stunned her parents. like for them, like for laura, it was a wake-up call. we'll tell you about the changes
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that they've made. next, new details on the flight attendant's melt down. we get that from an eyewitness that was on the plane. what she saw and heard in crime and punishment tonight. and have you seen this video? a drive-through customer starts throwing punches because she couldn't get some mcnuggets. that's all on tape. we'll show you in tonight's shot.
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all right. in tonight's crime and punishment, the flight attendant accused of cursing at a passenger, actually cursing the whole plane and then sliding down the escape shoot yesterday, today he's locked up in jail. steven slater was freed on bail and moments after getting out we tried to reach him. give us a call. we'd love to hear from you. he may be enjoying the fame or confused by it all. he has tens and thousands of followers. this could lead to prison time. we all want to know what happened inside his head that sent him over the edge.
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a former senior writer to the huffing ton post, joining me now, thank you for being with us. >> thank you, anderson. >> i've heard this story a million times. tell me in your own words what you heard and saw. >> and he said something about 25 years of this. >> it was very funny. i felt, and there was some sort of people near me who were laughing. >> uh-huh. >> and there was a lady, a catholic woman who was praying on the rosary for most of the flight because she was a nervous plier.
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she turned around and looked at me and i assured her that the turbulence was normal. she looked at me and -- >> did you tell her this was normal? >> i said this was not normal. >> did you see -- i mean, did you see him when he was doing this or you heard him over the p.a.? >> i just heard him. >> have you seen him during the flight at all? there was nothing remarkable -- >> i recognized when i saw his picture in the new york post and had he been one of my flight attendants. he was certainly nice enough and nothing -- >> the initial incident which you did not see, which was someone trying to get up before the plane -- you guys were texting? >> i don't know when that incident occurred but that's what i read upon landing. >> but the yelling over the p.a., you were stopped already? >> we were in those couple minutes when you're waiting to be released from the plane. everybody is sort of standing in the aisle. >> people were standing in the i'll?
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>> he just unleashed this rather comical, personally i hope we see him on saturday night live. >> we're going to see him on a lot of things. no doubt about that. but you didn't see the emergency shoot open up? >> i did not. i didn't even know about that until i saw my newspaper the next morning as it was a front page story and he made his escape. >> i want to read you a quote from -- you wrote, i was not insulted by it but amused. i would rather have somebody relate to me as a human being. f you all. you say, i have to say someone that flies a lot, it was refreshing. >> very much. very much. and you know, i was interviewing a flight attendant today. i'm a journalist as well. she wanted to be anonymous but she shared with me that a lot of flight attendants have a fantasy, according to her, of doing this very thing. they talk about how would you quit?
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would you throw tomato juice all over and demanding a passenger? any way -- >> i feel so much for flight attendants, the people that they have to deal with on any given day. flying is a nightmare and they are up there for, you know, hours and hours and hours. i give them tons of credit. >> a tough job. >> a tough job. what do you think has sparked -- >> it doesn't surprise me so much. i think a lot of people who has worked a service job can relate to. most people are very nice. and if you can't say anything back, i think any people -- working people can understand this. and there was something i think kind of free willing and spontaneous and funny about this. i write about terrorism and i can tell you, have you been in new york on 9/11? this was not terrorism. this was not scary. >> right. >> this was just maybe because
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of the slide issue. >> there's something about the -- there is something about the security ramifications and it shouldn't be done. but two details of him grabbing two beers and then eject the emergency chute, it made me laugh. >> i didn't know he was going down the emergency chute but the rant made me and other people laugh. >> i can't believe there's not security camera footage ha has not been released. >> maybe it will raise people's consciousness about how to service people. >> or give people an idea how to quit in a more three at trical way. >> thank you. >> you can read more. heather robinson. next from flight rage to anger. anger over mcnuggets, someone got punched when she couldn't get her chicken. the drive-through meltdown caught on tape. plus, levi johnston is
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joe johns is back. >> new york congressman charlie rangel took to the house floor to blast the ethics investigation. rangel is facing 13 counts of violating and challenging to stay on the job as challenges take their best shot. >> what you've been telling me that i'm going to have a hearing. and, hey, people are concerned about me.
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i'm 80 years old. i don't want to die before the hearing. >> efforts are on hold to finish the relief well to permanently seal the damaged bp well as a potential tropical storm takes aim at the area. the delay could be two or three days. president obama has signed a $26 billion bill aimed at helping states avoid laying off teachers and republicans are calling it a union give away. and will this one day be a levi johnston? apparently he wants the old job of mayor of wasilla, alaska. the road to the mayor's office as he enters the world of politics. i think we ought to try to get a new name there. i'm not real hot on that one. >> i don't think that's going to happen. the show or the race. we'll see. joe, thanks.
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mcnuggets meltdown caught on tape. this happened at mcdonald's earlier this year. a woman lost it when she couldn't get chicken mcnuggets because it was breakfast time. she gets out of the car and punches the employee. she's completely out of control. and the bottle that she grabs from the car, police eventually say that she was sentenced to 60 days in jail. up next, the battle on the border of illegal immigration. pregnant women coming here to give birth to future terrorists. is there any actual proof? keeping them honest. hey, smart, we could stay here foence.
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